Browsing Category: Health & Wellness

Homemade Organic Laundry Detergent

Laundry detergent is just one of those things that we have to buy all of the time, and it is not cheap at all.  For a family of four, it seems like we are constantly doing laundry.  I can only imagine the effect that all of that laundering is having on the environment.  This recipe is for an all natural DIY laundry detergent that will not only help save the environment, but will also save your wallet!  If you have hard water at your house, this detergent may even work better than your typical store bought detergents.  It is worth giving it a try!  I got this recipe from ProjectGreenify, and they have recipes for a few other types of detergents, including liquid if you prefer that.

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Safe Sunscreen

My husband and I do our best to mindfully select products and food that are the best for our health and the environment.  It can be tricky with so many different labels (ie organic vs natural) and products claiming to be good for you and with the constant flow of contradictory information coming out on what’s okay and what’s not.  Confusing at the very least! There is a site that I visit regularly for good solid information.  This is my “go to” especially when it comes to selecting the very best products for our son, The Environmental Working Group or EWA. In a nutshell they’re:

The nation’s leading environmental health research and advocacy organization.  Our mission is to serve as a watchdog to see that Americans get straight facts, unfiltered and unspun, so they can make healthier choices and enjoy a cleaner environment. 

Now that the temperatures are warming up and my son is over 6 months old I’ve been doing some research on the safest, most effective sunscreen.  I figured while I’m at it I should see about a great sunscreen for my husband and I as well. I went through many of them and found the top ones that are rated the safest according to the EWA, are at an affordable price point and can be found/purchased easily.

For Children (6 months and older)

Badger SPF 30+ Baby Sunscreen about $13 (plus free shipping) on Amazon

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Think Baby SPF 50+ about $13 on Amazon

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Seventh Generation Baby Sunscreen SPF 30 about $13 on Amazon

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For Adults

Kiss My Face Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 40 about $13 on Amazon

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ThinkSport Livestrong Sunscreen SPF 50 about $15 on Amazon

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Citrus Fennel Radish and Pistachio Salad

With the arrival of spring we happily transition to a lighter fare in our household.  This includes lots and lots of salads.  I also really love adding fruit in the mix, it gives salads such a welcome burst of flavor! The base of this salad is arugula which has a nice flavor and is chalk full of phytochemicals, anti-oxidents, vitamins and minerals. Arugula is also a part of the cruciferous family of vegetables which host powerful anti-cancer benefits.

For the full recipe visit Yummy Supper.

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Chicken Jalapeno Burgers

Now that it’s spring our family will be grilling up a storm.  In fact my husband, in anticipation of spring, has already been preparing several meals that way.  We’re always looking for new creative recipes to try out in an attempt to avoid the dinner rut we so often find ourselves in.  This recipe for Chicken Jalapeno Burgers found on What’s Gaby Cooking looks amazing!  We’ll likely lighten it up a bit with the following modifications:

  • Omitting the cheddar (sounds amazing but not so healthy)
  • Omitting the sour cream….heck when you have guacamole what more do you need?!

For full recipe and instructions please visit What’s Gaby Cooking.

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Chocolate Covered Kiwi Lolipops

I always get excited when I find a recipe that looks and tastes like a delicious naughty treat, but is actually a cleverly disguised healthy treat!  These dark chocolate covered kiwis do just that.  I found this recipe on ShowFoodChef.com, and they remind us that One serving of KIWI:
* contains the same amount of fiber as a BOWL of bran cereal.
* contains the same amount of potassium as a banana
* provides the recommended dietary allowance of vitamin C
and…
Folate (good for pregnant women), Lutein (helps prevent age-related blindness), Zinc (healthy hair, skin, teeth), Vitamin E (antioxidant and immune system booster)

This recipe is extremely easy to make, and can be done in just a few minutes of active making time.  The only delay is in the freezing of the kiwis.  Here is the method.

1) Kiwi – peeled and cut in 1 inch thick rounds, with a popsicle stick in each round. Freeze on a tray in the freezer.

  • The best way to peel and cut a kiwi is to slice off both ends of the kiwi, then take a thin spoon, like a cereal spoon, and slide it in between the kiwi skin and the meat, then just slide it around the kiwi, and the fruit should just pop right our of the skin!

2) 1 cup Chopped dark chocolate and 1/2 cup Coconut oil – melted over a double boiler, then cooled to room temp.

3) Dip each Kiwi-pop into the chocolate mixture (it will immediately turn crispy) and place on a tray to refreeze or pass around right now.

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Frozen Yogurt Covered Berries

I am always on the lookout for a good satisfying after dinner sweet treat.  After dinner I just need a little something sweet to balance out the salty dinner.  This is a great way to satisfy that sweet craving without the consumption of unneeded calories.  This is the perfect treat for a hot summer night.  Frozen Greek yogurt covered berries.  I have seen a couple of different posts about this particular dish, and they all seem to have a similar technique.  Here it is:

  1. Empty non fat Greek yogurt into mixing bowl.  (Vanilla seems to make the most sense)
  2. Use a tooth pick to dunk each berry into the yogurt
  3. Use a second toothpick to slide the berry off of the toothpick and onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper
  4. Freeze until hard
  5. Enjoy!

This process does seem a little labor intensive.  I would suggest simply dumping the berries into the yogurt, mixing it all up, and then scooping them out with a slotted spoon.  Then just push each one off of the spoon onto the wax paper coated baking sheet, and freezing.  You can use all kinds of berries for this.  But, if you are using strawberries, I would definitely cut them into quarters.  I full sized frozen strawberry is not very easy to eat.

Another thing I have seen is using a bamboo skewer and loading up a bunch of berries like a kabob, and then coating that with yogurt, and freezing the whole skewer.  That would be fun too!  Any way you do it, it will be delicious, healthy, and low calorie.

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Photo Courtesy of Laalosh.com

 

Organic Garden Seeds

That’s right, spring is just around the corner, which means it’s time to start thinking about your garden.  This year we finally have a space to do a bit of gardening.  Living in NYC last year certainly didn’t allow for that.  For me having produce that’s free of GMO’s, harsh chemicals and pesticides is even more important than ever now that we have our son.  I found some seeds that I’ve bought to get our garden started this summer and wanted to share them with you!

Ferry Morse Large Organic Vegetable Garden – $16 on Amazon

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Custom Collection of 12 Organic Herbs – $9.50 on Amazon

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Farfalle With Kale and Mushrooms

We try to go meatless at least a few times a week around our house.  And honestly it’s been a very simple transition for us.  There really are so many great recipes that don’t call for meat.  I love this one because it incorporates kale, which is one of the healthiest foods around….and a little bonus for my husband as he LOVES mushrooms!

For full recipe and instructions please visit Family of Foodies.

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The Best Probiotic!

My friends and family joke that I swear a good probiotic will solve just about anything.  Although they may be exaggerating a bit, it’s true that this healthy bacteria is super important for good health.  Did you know that 60% of your immune system lives in your gut?  Yup that’s right….a healthy gut should be taken seriously!  Many things from taking antibiotics and birth control to stress can deplete your body’s supply of healthy bacteria which then needs to be replenished. And you probably already know my shtick when comes to supplements….that’s right quality is key!  Don’t skimp on your probiotic.  My research found that Dr. Ohirra’s is one of the top notch over-the-counter brands out there.

You can purchase 30 capsules for about $19 on Amazon.

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Citrus Zinger Water Bottle

If you’ve been following my posts you will know that I am a huge proponent of drinking lots and lots of water!  Water just makes you feel good, helps you lose weight, keeps your skin tight, and a hundred other health benefits.  I drink a lot of water, and some times I just want a little flavor in my drink.  Store bought juices are full of sugar, fresh squeezed juice is labor intensive and costly, and soda just isn’t an option.  This looks like the perfect solution for when you just want a little something extra in your water!  You can click HERE to buy it on Amazon.  This is what they have to say about the product:

Citrus Zinger. Add zing to your water with a splash of citrus. Perfect for active water drinkers, the Citrus Zinger infuses the flavor of any citrus fruit directly into your bottle. It’s not only refreshing, it’s all natural. So zing away thirst with your favorite summer flavor-oranges, lemons, limes, Clementines and more. Without the cost or calories of commercial drinks! As easy as slice, press, and drink. Your zinger includes a 27-ounce water bottle and everything needed to create zesty custom flavors. Just add fruit! You unscrew the bottom cup, flip the vessel onto the top cap, and press in a citrus half. Screw the cup back on add water through the top cap opening then shake and enjoy! Each Zing produces 1-2 servings, more than enough to refresh you at yoga class, the office or around town. Experiment with your own zingredients! The Citrus Zinger makes it easy to go on flavor adventures. Try oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, strawberries, kiwis, peaches, watermelons or cantaloupes. Even add extras such as mint or honey for extra zing! Finger hole carrying handle on cap Wide mouth for addition of ice or extra ingredients BPA and EA free Removable dishwasher-safe bottle for easy cleaning Reusable and 100% recyclable Quench your thirst with a refreshing twist.

You can click HERE to buy it on Amazon.